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Antarctic shallow-water mega-epibenthos: shaped by circumpolar dispersion or local conditions?

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Raguá-Gil, J. M. , Gutt, J. , Clarke, A. and Arntz, W. (2004): Antarctic shallow-water mega-epibenthos: shaped by circumpolar dispersion or local conditions? , Marine biology:, 144 , pp. 829-839 . doi: 10.1007/s00227-003-1269-3
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Abstract:

The mega-epibenthos of two different geographic areas, AntarcticPeninsula and the high Antarctic (eastern Weddell Sea), wereinvestigated using underwater video at depths between 55-160 m.The distribution of the shallow water marine fauna in these two areaswas investigated to determine whether there are any zoogeographicdifferences in the shallow benthic fauna at community level. A totalof 239 taxa represented by 85,538 individuals was identified.Multivariate analyses revealed significant faunal differences betweennorthern Marguerite Bay (western the Antarctic Peninsula) and thestations from the Weddell Sea, Atka Bay and Four-Seasons Bank.Echinoderms, especially ophiuroids, dominated Marguerite Bay,bryozoans and ascidians were abundant at Atka Bay, and hydroidsand gorgonians were well represented at Four-Seasons Bank. Theseclear differences can mainly be explained by the influence of localenvironmental conditions that are probably the primary featureresponsible in shaping the Antarctic shallow-water epifauna and notan intensive exchange with larger depths or a limited dispersion duescarce and isolated shallow areas.

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